Drama as snowboarder White claims landmark gold

White practices ahead of the Winter Olympics at Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang-gun South Korea

The US have won all four snowboarding gold medals awarded at Pyeongchang 2018 thus far. The final rider to drop, he was already assured of at least a silver medal, but he needed to land a full run, including the back-to-back 1440s, to have a shot at overtaking Hirano.

The American initially dropped to one knee when the score was announced, before rising to punch the air in front of an ecstatic crowd at the venue, who surely knew they had witnessed one of the iconic moments of the Games. "I was working my way through the run, trick after trick, and it's going well.better and better and I'm riding away and I can't tell you how incredible it felt".

"I'm sure you can tell by my reactions at the bottom of the pipe but this meant the world to me and my family and my team", White said at the news conference.

Snowboarder Shaun White's halfpipe victory at the Pyeongchang Games on Wednesday earned the United States its landmark 100th Winter Games gold medal, prompting a series of celebratory messages on social media.

Unsurprisingly after that performance last month, the 31-year-old is considered the oddsmakers' favorite to capture his third gold medal this week, but there are two individuals who are right there next to him.

He did it in walk-off fashion, as White had the last run overall at the event, due to his high score in qualifying.

Gold wasn't guaranteed for White after he fell on his second attempt.

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This allowed Japan's Ayumu Hirano to take the lead by one point heading into the third and deciding run for the gold medal, setting up a nail biter of a finish with Australia's Scotty James nipping at their heels for a medal position. White won gold in 2006 and 2010.

In doing so, he became the first man to compete in and win gold medals at both the summer and winter X Games.

After scoring a brilliant 97.75 to pip Japanese teenager Ayumu Hirano, he gushed: "I was so overwhelmed with happiness.

I had it", White told NBC after the run.

"The spirit of competition helps me get my runs accomplished and gets me motivated and I'm just so thankful for today".

"I am who I am and I'm proud of who I am and my friends love me and vouch for me".

"The biggest thing that frustrated me is that I have been working my whole life and I put my life on the line every day snowboarding and I work so hard and some silly people behind the desk dictate some score which is really frustrating for me sometimes", he said.

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